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150 girls yell “I’m proud to be a Science Geek!”


We call it a good day when 150 girls yell in unison, “I’m proud to be a science geek!”at the top of their lungs.  Saturday, June 2nd at UMass Dartmouth, was certainly one of those days.150 girls aged 10-15 gathered at the University of Massachusetts--Dartmouth, to explore activities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The day included a plenary session with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Scientist Andone Lavery and greenlight for girls Founder Melissa Rancourt. During the day girls were treated to a variety of hands-on workshops that included learning about physics using paper airplanes, exploring medicine by suturing fake skin, and discovering the science behind natural beauty products. In addition to the eleven workshops, the girls had the opportunity to explore marine life when the New Bedford Ocean Explorium's mobile van was on sight during lunch. The day concluded with a closing session that saw the science in dasies and the cheers of 150 happy girls. We can't wait until next year!


OSS girls wear engineering hats for a day

"Do you know what I learned today?  Science is sticky!” exclaimed one OSS student after spending the afternoon constructing a tower using spaghetti and marshmallows. 

On May 23, 50 students from Our Sisters’ School in New Bedford, Massachusetts had the opportunity to explore engineering as a career.  US Director, Sarah Thomas, and g4g Founder, Melissa Rancourt, led hands-on workshops using daisies, legos, spaghetti and marshmallows to demonstrate science and engineering concepts. 

The girls were also given the opportunity to learn about one of our greenlight schools in another part of the world – the Democratic Republic of Congo.  After viewing a video made by the girls in the DRC, “Science through our eyes”,  the OSS girls were full of questions about life in the Congo.  When seeing the girls at school, one OSS girl exclaimed, “They wear uniforms too!  Just like us.” 

Greenlight for girls would like to thank the Director and teachers of the school for their enthusiasm to conduct a day of science for the girls – and the girls themselves for an inspiring day for everyone.

More school visits and activities continue this week as we get ready for our big event day on 2nd June at UMass Dartmouth.     


g4g Receives UN Recognition for "Girls in ICT" Work

greenlight for girls EU Director travelled to Geneva last week to take part in a high-level panel on "Girls in ICT" and to recieve recognition for her and g4g's work to promote technology to girls, as part of a new global initiative by the United Nations International Telecommunications Union.

This year on 26 April, the United Nations launched its first-ever International "Girls in ICT" Day in which g4g actively took part with our "Greenlight@Odense Day 2012" in Denmark.  In honor of the day, Ms. Miller also wrote an Op/Ed column on "Why Europe Needs More Women Scientists", featured in the 26 April edition of the European Voice and syndicated here.  She also launched an online "hype-ning" to promote the NYC celebration of the day, which included a high-level panel with our very own VP of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, who retweeted this fabulous picture of Cheryl's "hype-ening"!

In her comments to the UN panel, Ms. Miller emphasized that "every day is 'Girls in ICT' Day for greenlight for girls," a connection she broadly promotes in her capacity as EU Director and Technology Chair for the global g4g foundation.  

"And not only does 'tech need girls,'" continued Ms. Miller, "but girls need tech too. They need the knowledge, access and tools that ICT provides, as it is with this knowledge that girls will save the world!"

The "Girls in ICT" showcase was part of the larger World Summit for the Information Society and World Telecom and Information Society Day events taking place in Geneva at the same time, where this year's theme for the latter was also "Women & Girls in ICT".  Ms. Miller also attended the WTISD laureates ceremony which honored the work of Ms. Geena Davis, Ms. Sun Yafang and HE Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina.


First Denmark g4g Event also Celebrates "Girls in ICT" Day 2012!

Coinciding with the Danish Presidency of the EU, inaugurated it's first-ever Danish event, Greenlight@Odense Day, on 21 April 2012!

Greenlight@Odense Day 2012, part of South Denmark's Festival of Research, welcomed sixty-five 11-15 year old girls to a full day of hands-on workshops showing the fun in science and technology by exploring themes ranging from satellites and climate, to DNA and molecular biology.  In celebration of International Girls in ICT Day that took on 26 April, workshops on using ICTs to save the planet, the science behind slow-motion photography, as well a fresh and fun look at computer coding, were all on the agenda for the g4g Odense event.

Attendees of Greenlight@Odense Day 2012 were treated to a keynote speech by female role model scientist and author Anja C. Andersen, of the Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, and esteemed genetic researcher Mette  H. Hansen from the Institute for Molecular Biology & Genetics - Center for Quantitative Genetic Research.

For more information about Greenlight@Odense Day 2012 or other upcoming g4g activities in Denmark, please contact us!



Girls, Coding & Robots get the Greenlight at OSCON 2012!

In Portland, Oregon on 18 & 19 July 2012, in the context of OSCON 2012 - the largest open source conference in the world - will carry out Greenlight@OSCON Days 2012 (“g4gOSCON2012”), a two-day event providing forty girls the opportunity to design, program and deploy hands-on missions involving robots, space and ICT, in order to show the fun in science and technolgy, and to promote these areas as study and career choices for girls.

g4gOSCON2012 will be led by Cheryl Miller, Technology Chair for the greenlight for girls foundation (“g4g”) and Tasha Carl, Founder of ICT2ACT and g4g Robotics Community Leader.  The event will be supported on the ground by young g4g volunteer assistants and volunteer female role model professionals from the field.

g4gOSCON2012 will take place from 10am to 4pm on 18 & 19 July 2012, within the OSCON exhibition hall at the Oregon Convention Center.

If you are interested in collaborating on the "Girls, Coding & Robots" activity at OSCON 2012, please contact us!  To register for g4gOSCON2012 please go here!



International Women's Day & "Get Online" Week 2012

As part of International Women’s Day 2012 on 8 March in Brussels, greenlight for girls will be showcasing the role of young women and digital literacy in building the workforce of the future at a launch event for Get Online Week 2012, with planned attendance by EU Commissioner and Vice President Neelie Kroes and other Brussels, Belgian and European dignitaries.

In collaboration with Telecentre Europe (organizers of GOW2012) and Interface3, greenlight for girls will be teaching teenage girls, in a fun and hands-on way, how to design and build their own online web-presence, in order to encourage their active participation in the digital economy of Europe.

greenlight for girls ASBL is a Brussels-based international foundation promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics to girls of all ages and backgrounds, around the world.  Since 2010, g4g initiatives have reached hundreds girls in Belgium, the United States, Hungary, Holland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and India with the messages that "science is fun" and "girls are going to save the world"!  In 2012, g4g will be expanding its activities to England, France, Brazil, Denmark, Switzerland, Cameroon and elsewhere.  

The greenlight for girls foundation and its events are made possible by the generous support of private and public organizations around the world.  For more information about the foundation or its activities, please contact Ms. Cheryl D. Miller, Technology Chair and European Director of greenlight for girls.



Look who's "World" Class in Water Conservation!

On 16 January 2012, will hold its first-ever “World” class on Water Conservation, with Levi Strauss & Co. and 84 girls from the St. John’s International Middle School in Waterloo, Belgium.

For this first World class, students will engage in a hands-on activity to promote awareness about the challenge of water conservation; they will learn about a creative way science has been used to reduce water usage in the lifecycle of a pair of jeans; and they will be challenged to come up with their own ideas for conserving water in their families, schools and communities.

Through World class, and their partners seek to:

  • stimulate youth involvement in addressing real-world challenges within school, at home and in the wider community;
  • inspire young people, especially girls, to use technical and scientific knowledge to address real-world challenges; and
  • promote women role models in technical and science-related professions who are helping address real-world challenges. – in collaboration with our partners from the private and public sectors, academia and industry – develops and carries out “World” classes on topics linking science, technology, engineering and mathematics to sustainability, literacy, and wellbeing.

Please contact us if you or your organization would like to work with to develop a World class, or to carry out a World class in your school or community.


Greenlight@Brussels Day 2011 Inspires Girls to Study Science


On Saturday, 26 November 2011, over 250 schoolgirls from Brussels descended on the International School of Brussels, host to the second annual Greenlight@Brussels Day, an event promoting science, technology engineering and mathematics ("STEM") to 11-15 year old girls.  With over 100 hands-on workshops run by role-model scientists, engineers and technology experts, and a Fun Lab full of the latest high-tech gadgetry and science experiments, attendees were exposed to a wide array of exciting activities to inspire them to pursue technical studies and careers.  The event was also officially part of EU Robotics Week and the International Year of Chemistry 2011.

The feedback shows an impact:

In a follow-up survey to the event, a full 94 percent of girls who attended Greenlight@Brussels Day 2011 said the event encouraged them to pursue science subjects, and this from some who are not currently enrolled in science studies.

"We are amazed and excited that the feedback from the girls is so positive," says greenlight for girls European Director, Cheryl Miller.  "We hope for this kind of outcome from the events we do, but to see such a big impact in practice is really great," she adds.

Just getting started: 

"In our first year, greenlight for girls has run over fifteen free events in Europe, the US and Africa," says greenlight for girls Founder, Melissa Rancourt.  "In 2012, we plan to build out our 'daisychain' network in Europe, India and Africa, and South America too," she says, "and we're really looking forward to seeing such success repeat itself around the world."

More positive feedback:

Further testimony from the hundreds of event volunteers and participants at Greenlight@Brussels Day 2011 attests to the variety of activities held and the excitement the event generated.  A sampling of feedback when asked about their "favorite part of the day" includes:

  • seeing girls carrying worms around
  • getting dirty from the big bang theory workshop
  • all their questions about the Solar plane
  • seeing girls participate in the Mars ESA mission
  • learning the science of beauty and the engineering of fashion design
  • being live news reporters and photographers during the day
  • discovering life in a test tube
  • being a part of a global water experiment
  • shooting a rocket outside
  • guessing the magician’s tricks
  • painting their labcoats with designs and messages about girls and science
  • making daisies change colours
  • linking music to science
  • building the internet
  • programming robots
  • designing my dream home

The greenlight for girls Foundation and their Board Members in Brussels, Cheryl and Melissa, express their gratutide to everyone who contributed to the success of Greenlight@Brussels Day 2011, including Keynote Speaker Annie Chen from Google, and a vast list of partners and sponsors.  More information on the event itself, including photos, video and workshop output, will be shared here in the coming days and weeks.


VP Kroes Names Greenlight for Award Purse 

On 10 September 2011, Ms. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, will honor greenlight for girls ASBL with a prize purse in the name of the International Compostela Group-Xunta de Galicia Prize being awarded to Ms. Kroes this year for playing "a relevant role in the development of world values."

For its XV edition, the Compostela Prize Jury unanimously decided to award the prize to Ms. Kroes in acknowledgement of her work "in fostering communication among different cultures and mutual understanding," in the spirit of the Prize and the Group itself.  Commissioner Kroes has chosen as the benefactor of the 6000 Euro purse attached to the Prize.

Cheryl Miller, European Director and Technology Chair of greenlight for girls ASBL, will be on hand to present Ms. Kroes with her award, and to formally accept the prize purse on behalf of, at the Compostela Prize ceremony in Braga, Portugal on 10 September 2011.

The Compostela Group is a consortium of nearly seventy member universities worldwide whose main aim is to foster cooperation and promote dialogue in all fields related to higher education.

greenlight for girls ASBL is a Brussels-based, international NGO promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics to girls of all ages and backgrounds.


Aug242011 Day @Brussels 2011 Announced!

Yes, it's that time of year again!  After a very busy and exciting first year for, we are pleased to usher in our second Day @Brussels on Saturday, 26 November 2011, at the International School of Brussels

More details can be found on the event page.  And don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like to attend and/or be involved!